– Premenstrual syndrome or PMS is a persistent cycle of physical and emotional changes that occur five days before menstruation begins and end within 4 days after menstruation begins. These changes can often be bothersome for many women and may interfere with their normal activities. Woman may notice thirst and appetite changes (food cravings), breast swelling and tenderness, bloating, weight gain, headache, swelling of the hands and feet, aches and pains, fatigue, skin problems, gastrointestinal symptoms and abdominal pains. PMS symptoms may also include emotional and cognitive symptoms including depression, anger and irritability, crying spells, anxiety, confusion, social withdrawal, poor concentration and mood swings.
Some conditions that may be confused with PMS include depression, anxiety, perimenopause, chronic fatigue syndrome and thyroid disease. PMS can aggravate other conditions including, depression, anxiety, seizure disorders, migraines, asthma and allergies. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the following methods to relieve the symptoms of PMS, regular aerobic exercise (may reduce fatigue and depression), relaxation methods including yoga or meditation, getting enough sleep, eating a diet high in complex carbohydrates and calcium rich foods, reducing your intake of sugar, salt and fat, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol. They suggest talking with your physician about medicines that may lessen PMS symptoms including hormonal contraceptives, antidepressants and diuretics (water pills). READ MORE ABOUT PMS »
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends several supplements to reduce the symptoms of PMS including calcium and magnesium. Calcium may be associated with modulating mood and physical symptoms at a suggested dosage of 1,200 mg of calcium daily. In addition, magnesium supplements may help reduce water retention, mood symptoms and breast tenderness. There is a small study supporting the benefits of vitamin E but more studies are necessary.
Several supplements claim to relieve symptoms of PMS including evening primrose oil and chasteberry. Several small studies support the positive effects of chasteberry for PMS. However, there are side effects including gastrointestinal problems, acne-like rashes and dizziness. In addition, chasteberry can affect hormone levels, so the following women should avoid this supplement, women who are pregnant, taking birth control pills, or who have have hormone-sensitive conditions including breast cancer. Also, it can affect the dopamine system in the brain, so it should be avoided in people taking antipsychotic drugs and Parkinson’s disease medications. There have been no studies to validate the usefulness of evening primrose oil with PMS.
A physician should be consulted before beginning the use of any supplement to discuss possible interactions with other prescription medication(s), side effects or possible safety issues, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, are an infant or child, have a chronic health condition or are immunocompromised.
Incorporating the proper supplementation from drugstore.com’s supply of vitamins and supplements into your daily life may help alleviate your PMS symptoms to help promote good health and balance that allow you to feel better on a daily basis. Shop drugstore.com’s supply of vitamins. BACK TO TOP »
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